Caring for our Guests & Employees During COVID-19 Alert Level 2

Updated 11.10.2021
The Distinction Hotels Group’s highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our guests, employees and local communities.

We would like to update you on the measures we have in place when you stay, dine or conference at any of our New Zealand wide hotels during Alert Level Delta 2 of the NZ Government's COVID-19 response.

Under COVID-19 Alert Level Delta 2, whilst NZ's borders remain closed, Distinction Hotels in Whangarei, Palmerston North, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Wellington, Fox Glacier, Dunedin, Wanaka & Te Anau are currently NOT hosting returning travellers who are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day managed quarantine or isolation at government nominated hotels. 

On 28 June 2020, Distinction Hamilton Hotel and on 5 July 2020 Distinction Christchurch Hotel both commenced a vital role in the Government's fight against COVID-19 to prevent community spread in NZ by becoming managed isolation hotels. To ensure the highest level of safety, the Hamilton and Christchurch hotels will be closed completely to the general public and will solely host returning travellers undergoing the mandatory 14-day isolation. On 11 October 2021, Distinction Hamilton was turned into a quarantine facility for local community cases. At the suggestion of Tainui waka iwi, Distinction Hamilton will now be known as an Amohia - Community Isolation Quarantine facility. We appreciate your support of the role that the Distinction Hamilton and Distinction Christchurch teams are playing to help keep NZ safe in these unprecedented times and we will advise immediately should any circumstances change.

We require all guests to maintain standards as outlined by the NZ Government and also as noted in this pandemic action plan. Self-responsibility is also very important by each person staying at a Distinction Hotel, guests will be required to maintain social distancing between others and hotel staff. 

Check in/out:
Guests & staff will be required to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing protocols of 2 metres. After each check in/out, area of reception will be wiped down, in addition any touch points such as eftpos touch pads will be wiped down, in some cases eftpos touchless pads will be available.  

Contact tracing:
Hotels will utilise their check in systems for guest contact tracing. This will contain personal contact information of each guest. A visitor contact tracing register will also be in place for all visitors to the hotel including trade personal, this will also cover external diners of our hotels' restaurant & bar areas.

Have you changed any procedure with your restaurants/food service?
The hotel continues to operate under current legislation of food & safety guidelines issued by the local council and NZ Government. Hotel will open restaurants/bars via social distancing protocols, with single service policy being adapted, requiring each order to be placed with hotels single service staff who are required to wear a face covering. Serving staff must stick to serving specific tables, at no time will orders be allowed to be made at bar or restaurant reception. All guests will be required to be seated, seating arrangements will be at least 1 metre apart. As such breakfast buffet service will convert to à la carte breakfast by order. Single service by hotel staff member to obtain order and deliver to guest table, room service will be available. In case of high demand during level 2, hotel may limit number of guests in accordance with social distancing protocols.  All patrons must be seated and must be served a meal, not just beverages. A maximum of 10 people per booking will be allowed, limited to a maximum of 50 people inside or 100 people outside at one time.

Hotel guest facilities:

Public facilities such as pools, spa pools, gyms may remain closed, in some cases dependent on size of gym. Guests may be allowed to utilise as long as face coverings are worn and social distancing is maintained. Equipment cleaning solution will be made available, with daily cleaning routines being maintained by hotel's housekeeping staff.
What has changed in the cleaning routine to stop the spread of illness?
We continue to provide the highest of cleaning standards in the rooms and have increased the regularity of cleaning in the public areas. The house keeping team has increased cleaning in the common areas and high touch areas. (i.e. lift buttons, hand rails, stairwells and door handles.) Hand sanitisers in guest areas such as check in, restaurant and bar will be made available. In addition hotels will be reintroducing the use of plastic bin liners until such time that the risk level is minimised. 

Are there procedures in place to minimise the risk of illness transfer?
Maintaining increased public area cleaning protocols, especially high human traffic areas. Hand sanitisers will be made available at hotel's reception and all high demand public spaces, such as restaurant, bar areas. Again social distancing will be enforced. Signs as issued by the World Health Organization will be displayed in public areas such as bathrooms. Any guests/staff presenting any flu like symptoms will be requested to return to room or in case of staff to their home remaining in self-isolation, with hotel contacting local health authority and will follow procedures as advised.  In case of non-compliance by guest we again will follow the local health authority and if required, the guest may be vacated from the hotel following the instructions of the local health authority. The hotel will follow the guidance of Ministry of Health.

What protocol is in place for screening guest on arrival?
Any guests presenting at hotel check in that appears to have any symptoms related to Covid-19 will be asked to remain in room until local health authorities are advised and person of concern has been visited by health authorities and cleared. In a case where guest is confirmed as threat, we will follow the guidance of local health authorities. In case of non-compliance by guest we again will follow the local health authority and if required, the guest may be vacated from the hotel following the instructions of local health authority. 
Note: Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. The WHO says.
"standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing".

Is there a protocol when a guest reports they are sick?
We will be working with the local health authorities if there are any guests that fall unwell. This will be reported immediately and we will follow their guidance and advice. Guest in the first case would be requested to self-isolate in their room.

If there is a lockdown situation at your property due to someone being sick with COVID-19 or other, is there a procedure in place?
Yes, guest must remain in room and food will be delivered to guest room, food would be left outside guest room, guest would be advised food has been delivered, staff would move 2 metres from door entrance to ensure food has been collected by guest. Immediate cleaning of guest room, external door and surrounding area with regular alcohol based cleaning products thereafter. Where possible guest room would be allocated away from others and where possible rooms nearby would be closed to use. Upon collection of crockery and cutlery, guest would be contacted by phone to arrange collection of items, our staff would wear rubber gloves and separate items and place immediately in washer.

What is the protocol for screening employees upon arrival at work?

All staff have to advise travel movements and current health before returning to work. Depending on outcomes staff may be requested to remain at home in self-isolation until cleared by local health authority.

What protocol is in place when an employee has a positive diagnosis?

Hotel will follow local health authorities’ guidance. Staff would be prohibited to enter the place of work and return home and would be required to self-isolate as per the New Zealand Government policy. 

How can I protect myself & others?
You can help keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand (and protect yourself and your community from many other illnesses) by keeping up with good hand hygiene, staying home if you feel unwell, wearing a face covering when in public, scanning QR codes and keeping track of where you've been.
Avoid touching the mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands
Wash your hands before eating
Carry a hand sanitiser at all times
You must legally wear a face covering on public transport, on domestic flights, in retail stores and public venues
Be particularly mindful of touching your face after using public transport or going to the airport
You are encouraged to wear face coverings in situations where physical distancing is not possible, like in shops
Carry tissues at all times to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing then dispose of it
Don't eat shared or communal food
Avoid shaking hands, kissing cheeks
Regularly clean and sanitise commonly used surfaces and items, such as phones and keys
Avoid close contact with people suffering from or showing symptoms of acute respiratory infection.  
Self-isolate and seek medical attention if you feel unwell

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may include one or more of the following, but are not limited to:
     Muscle pain
     High temperature
     Shortness of breath, breathing difficulties
According to the WHO, symptoms may only start showing up to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. New Zealand is currently using 14 days as its incubation period, in which exposed individuals will be quarantined. There has been some debate over the incubation period, with a handful of researchers suggesting some patients may not display symptoms until 24 days after being infected.

For more information on COVID-19 please visit the Ministry of Health website.
The Ministry of Health is reminding the public to get in touch with Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if they have symptoms or concerns

As circumstances and Alert Levels change we will continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our guests and employees. We sincerely appreciate your support in keeping our global community safe in these unprecedented times.

Kind regards,
Duncan Fletcher
Distinction Hotels Group - 100% NZ Owned & Operated

The Distinction Hotels Group’s highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our guests, employees and local communities. We would like to update you on the measures we have in place when you stay, dine or conference at any of our 100% NZ Owned & Operated hotels during Alert Level Delta 2.
Alert Level 2 Update
Caring for our Guests & Employees During COVID-19 Alert Level 2Caring for our Guests & Employees During COVID-19 Alert Level 2Caring for our Guests & Employees During COVID-19 Alert Level 2